It was a mixed bag for both Violets tennis teams this past weekend in Ohio, as they kicked off their spring season with the men losing both their matches and the women winning one and losing another. The men lost to both Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College, while the women beat Oberlin but also fell to Case Western.
Worst was first, as the men lost to sixth-ranked Case Western 8-1. In the first match, senior captain Sid Thangirala fell 6-2, 6-1, which was followed by a loss from freshman Benedict Teoh by the same score. The sole bright spot of the day came after, with junior Matt DeMichiel winning against Robert Stroup 0-6, 6-2, 6-4. Sophomore Jiri Honajzer followed this up with a very close loss, falling to Louis Stuerke 2-6, 6-4, 8-10. Unfortunately, freshman Yanik Parsch and junior Sammy Aronson both fell easily. Doubles play was very rough, with the Violets losing their three matches by a combined score of 24 games to five.
Tired after their loss on Saturday, the men recovered well but lost a close 5-4 match Sunday morning against Oberlin. Things started out strong, as the men won two of the three doubles matches courtesy of a solid performance from DeMichiel and Parsch, who won 8-3, and Teoh and Aronson, who won 9-8. The Violets split the first two singles matches, with Teoh losing 3-6, 6-7 and Sid Thirangala winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-2. DeMichiel lost in three sets, tying the overall score at three. Honajzer lost to Abraham Davis 5-7, 6-4, 5-7 before Aronson dominated Billy Lennon 6-0, 6-2. However, Parsch was defeated by Robert Gittings, giving Oberlin the win.
The women had a much better time in their Saturday match, playing Oberlin and winning 9-0. They came in ranked 30th, their first ever national ranking, while Oberlin was 38th. Senior Carmen Lai, junior Laila El Dessouki and freshman Fleura Shiyanova each had easy straight set wins. Senior captain Madeline King held off a comeback from Jackie McDermott to win 6-4, 2-6, 1-0. Freshman Vanessa Scott came from behind to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. The three doubles matches were all close, making it clear that the blowout win was no small feat. Lai and Shiyanova beat Sarah Hughes and Emma Brezel 8-6. Scott and El Dessouki beat Mayada Audeh and Jackie McDermott 8-6, while King and sophomore Nicole Schnabel beat Olivia Hay and Erin Johnson 8-5.
On Sunday morning the women, perhaps exhausted, lost 7-2 to Case Western. Things started badly when all three doubles matches were won by Case, with the Violets winning only seven games. The two bright spots were wins by Shiyanova and Scott. Shiyanova won 6-2, 6-4 against Surya Khandilkar and Scott won 6-1, 6-0 against Jessica Liu. Shiyanova agreed that fatigue played an important role in the loss.
“Against Case, we had much less energy,” Shiyanova said. “We finished our match with Oberlin at 10:30 a.m. and most of us went to sleep at 2 a.m. due to homework and then we had to wake up at 6 a.m. We were exhausted and did not have enough energy.”
The women play their next match against Geneseo on Saturday while the men take on the Coast Guard Academy on Sunday.
A version of this article appeared in the April 4 print edition. Email Tony Schwab at [email protected]